Strained Work Partner Relationships Breed Stress

Work life can be stressful for a number of people and some industries have proven to cause more stress than others. Now, a new study presented in a Science Daily piece finds that a good partner relationship can act as a buffer for those exposed to work-related stress.

“The relationship reduces the negative effects of this kind of stress on our health. But poor relationships will amplify the negative effects,” said Ann-Christine Andersson Arntén in a new doctoral dissertation from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in the Science Daily. “A positive approach and successful stress-management techniques also help to reduce the negative effects of work-related stress.”

That partnership can have the opposite effect if the relationship creates stress. This stress can be intertwined within the job and create a much greater risk for burn-out and poor health.

Within this study, participants who reported a good relationship also reported that they enjoyed better health than those who had a more problematic relationship. Women in a poorly-functioning relationship experienced more anxiety, mental stress reactions and sleeping difficulties than those in good relationships.

Men had similar reactions. Those who reported a mediocre relationship had a higher incidence of depression, anxiety, psychological and somatic stress reactions than men with worse or better relationships.

Stress can take a toll on a body. When it is exposed to stress, the body must take the time to recover and recharge. If there is no opportunity to recover, the body’s reserves are emptied and poor health continues. The same principle is true for those who take work home, work overtime or have recurring problems in their relationships.

“The risk is that we don’t realize things are not right until we get to that point,” added Andersson Arntén. “Our work and required social interactions demand much too much of us. Our relationship is strained to the breaking point, and we’ve used the last drop of the energy reserves we once had.”

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